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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

NLP in Education

This is something that most designers overlook, but is a great resource for eduction- NLP or Neuro-linguistic Programming.

From Wikipedia: The term "Neuro-linguistic programming" denotes a set of models and principles meant to explore how mind and neurology (neuro), language patterns (linguistic), and the organization of human perception and cognition into systemic patterns (programming) interact to create subjective reality and human behaviors.

Basically, NLP is the use of language techniques to program the listener to accept or be open to a certain message.

In the article, NLP in Education - A Magnificent Opportunity, Don A. Blackerby explores how we can use this in educational settings.

Some of the NLP modeling skills he uses are:


  • Spiritual/Greater System – Attempts to communicate or change at this level affects our experience of being a part of a much vaster system. Answers the question of, who else does this serve? Or, what is the greater purpose or vision?
  • Identity – Attempts to communicate or change at this level affects self-image and overall purpose. Answers the question of, who am I?
  • Beliefs and Values – Attempts to communicate or change at this level, affects the motivation and permission by affecting the reasons that we do it. Answers the question of, why do I do it?

  • Capabilities – Attempts to communicate or change at this level, affects behavioural actions through a mental map, skill or strategy. Answers the question of, how do I do it?

  • Behaviour – Attempts to communicate or change at this level, affects specific actions taken within the environment. Answers the question of, what do I do?

  • Environmental – Attempts to communicate or change at this level, affects the external constraints a person has to live within and react to. Answers the questions of, where and/or when and/or with whom do I do it?


  • Of course, this is the proverbial tip of the iceburg in NLP. Simple tasks such as using a students primary cognitive response to help clear communication paths provides the facilitator a great tool in overcoming barriers.

    The more we know about the psychology of the human mind, we can look back at our primary instructional models in an entirely new light.


    I would like to pose the question to my readers, have you used NLP or other psychological tool in your educational models? What were your results?

    1 comment:

    Claudia Ceraso said...

    I have used NLP in my English lessons for quite some time. I think I first heard of this in 1992 when a student practitioner gave me a copy of the book "The Structure of Magic".

    In a nutshell, I think NLP made me change the focus when planning my lessons from method-based to student need-based.

    If you are interested, here are my collected links on the subject:

    ELT Notes - NLP

    (This is my research blog -just notes)